With a tremendous amount of time on my hands, in between replying to my grandson’s innumerable text/picture messages (he just got a cell phone), I have surfed the net for interesting items and found a few. Which begs the question, “Why don’t he get out more?”

Schools’ conventional “zero tolerance” policies prohibiting guns or weapons on campus not only apply (as they have recently) to drawings of guns and to a 2-inch-long toy charm in the shape of a gun, but, at an Ionia, Mich., school, to making the familiar, thumb-up hand representation of a gun, for which Mason Jammer, 6, was suspended in March. [Grand Rapids Press, 3-4-10]

Fair and Balanced, sorta
Carly Houston, 29, was arrested in Naperville, Ill., in March after a rowdy early-morning dispute with a taxi driver, and, given her customary “one phone call” to ask a friend to post bond for her, she chose instead to call 9-1-1 and report that she was “trapped inside a detention facility” (thus causing police to add “abuse of 9-1-1” to the charges). [Naperville Sun, 3-23-10]

In April, the town of Olathe, Kan., became the second city in two years to settle lawsuits filed by citizens who were arrested for flashing their middle fingers at police officers, thus appearing to acknowledge that flipping the bird contemptuously at a cop is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. (Philadelphia paid out $50,000; Olathe, one-sixteenth the size, paid out $5,000.) [KSHB-TV (Kansas City), 4-16-10]

Albert Bailey, 27, and a 16-year-old buddy were charged with robbery of a People’s United Bank in Fairfield, Conn., in March, after they made it much too easy for police by calling the bank beforehand and demanding that money be set aside for them to pick up at a certain time. Police were waiting in the parking lot. [Connecticut Post (Bridgeport), 3-24-10]

Megan Barnes, 37, was arrested in March after being spotted driving erratically in Cudjoe Key, near Key West, Fla. After several implausible explanations, Barnes admitted she had a razor and was giving herself a “bikini shave” as she drove. Several traffic charges were filed against her. [Key West Citizen, 3-5-10]

A great-grandmother in England will not have to pay a fine after she was ticketed for picking up the wrong dog’s poop.

Pam Robson, 60, was given the equivalent of a $75 fine in January after Sunderland Council wardens said she failed to pick up after her Labrador, Derik, and instead picked up another dog’s mess, the BBC reports. Suderland is in northern England. The fine was “dropped.”

LONDON (Reuters) – Actor Russell Crowe stormed out of a BBC radio interview after suggestions that he had made the quintessentially British legend Robin Hood sound Irish in his latest movie.

New Zealand-born Crowe, who was raised in Australia, has been the target of criticism in the British media for his accent in the “Robin Hood” action adventure movie which opened this week with its world premiere held at the Cannes film festival.

BBC radio arts reporter Mark Lawson said he felt his impression from Crowe’s performance was that “Robin Hood was an Irishman who took frequent holidays in Australia.” – Oh the humanity…well at least he didn’t sound like Kevin Costner’s Klingon accent.